(NC) Many of us are opening up our summer homes and looking forward to getting back in the outdoors. If you and your family plan to rent a boat, keep these tips in mind for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Follow the checklist. Every rental boat agency should give you a safety briefing using the appropriate safety checklist to prepare you before leaving the dock. Pay attention to the checklist as it has important safety information for you to follow safe boating practices.

Wear a flotation device. To be effective, the Canadian-approved lifejacket or personal flotation device should be worn by everyone on board and must be properly adjusted. Remember that the most visible colours in the water are red, yellow and orange.

Always be vigilant. It’s your responsibility as a boat operator to respect and share the waterways. Look out for wildlife, swimmers, other boats and obstructions in the water. As a boat operator, you must respect other people on the water, in the water and near your boat.

Protect the waterways. Shoreline erosion, invasive species, water pollution, and habitat destruction are just a few examples of how boating impacts the environment. You can help prevent this by bringing home your waste, reducing your wake, refilling your fuel tank carefully and using a holding tank for wastewater.

Find more information at www.canada.ca/rental-boat-safety.